A development welcomed by many has occurred in the case of Persian cat breeder Betty Gould.
An animal abandonment and abuse case that began at the Willamette River in Springfield, Oregon on the night of Friday, November 30 has brought criminal charges against a well known Persian cat breeder and a campaign by local animal lovers to rescue the 60 or so cats the woman has at her home, and to publicize the charges and related accusations
Betty Gould, long time owner of Snowbunnies Persians catteries was arrested and charged with dumping a garbage bag containing two Persian cats into the river. The animals were rescued by police officers after an eyewitness reported the incident. Springfield Animal Control Officer Brian Austin was able to match the cats, a pair of bonded sisters, to their profiles at the cattery website.
Gould is charged with Aggravated Animal Abuse and Abandonment. Her trial is set for January 30. Meanwhile, Animal Control is investigating previous incidents where residents have seen or rescued abandoned Persian cats. Numerous complaints by dissatisfied buyers have also come to light.
See our article from December 10, Persian Breeder Charged for Trying to Drown Cats: Advocates Mount Campaign, for more detail and a series of video reports with KEZI News’s excellent and extensive coverage of the case.
Officer Austin visited Betty Gould’s home before she made bail and returned there. He found between 50 and 60 cats and did a basic welfare check to see if they had food and water and looked ok. The cats had basic care and were not removed at that time.
Yesterday, Betty Gould voluntarily agreed to give up ownership of the cats. A New York Persian cat group appears to be involved in the matter, along with local animal rescuers. Firm plans for the cats have not been announced, but some close to the case are considering fundraising options to treat a number of cats with ringworm. Those cats will go to local shelters, according to preliminary plans.
Police say Betty Gould is working with law enforcement to voluntarily surrender her cats., and with Springfield Animal Control and local shelters to find other homes for the Persians.
Officer Austin told KEZI, “They will not be direct adoptions. They will go through the rescue agencies because of any of the other health concerns. We want to get those addressed before we get them out to homes because of some concerns we’ve had in the past with Betty’s cats.”
Austin told the Register-Guardian, “I think she realizes that this is what needs to happen.”
The two cats pictured here are the bonded sisters that were rescued from the Willamette River.